There Are No Solid Gold Dancers Anymore


There Are No Solid Gold Dancers Anymore

By Adrienne Weiss

Nightwood Editions
5.5 x 8 - 80 pages
Paperback - $18.95
April 2014

There Are No Solid Gold Dancers Anymore explores the manipulative pull of self-mythology and how it informs the telling of story—whether by a fan worshipping her idol, or an old vaudevillian star reminiscing about a glamorous past. Intimate glances into the lives of the famous bring back points of reflection on their relation to the everyday. Poems about the cast of The Wizard of Oz present the tragedy and ambition of Hollywood life. “Some make their living never headlining,” but for the exhausted star, “it’s like getting off a decades-long train ride, having finally arrived, somewhere, where bluebirds fly, you know? Somewhere like the end, the final surrender.”

The life of the stars is full of glamour, but is also contrasted with the trauma of leading such a life: “what a world, what a twisted/world this is, that, like a boxer’s embrace,/ beats us into bloody conceit.” Following this thread are poems about the sometimes-similar struggles and dreams of the less fortunate, portrayed with storybook metaphor as “An aimless swirl to the centre of things where/ there are dying fathers, angry mothers, cruel sisters,/ the same old story.” Alternating between prose, lyric, elegy and dramatic monologue, the poems of There Are No Solid Gold Dancers Anymore question the nature of performance, blur the lines of identity, and illustrate the age-old hunger to find, amidst life’s glitter and waste, a happy ending.